Government Relations

FAA Bill Signed Into Law

October 10, 2018. Washington, DC:

In a rare act of bipartisanship in today’s political landscape, Democrats and Republicans worked together to pass a bill that reauthorizes the budget for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for five years. Before the President signed the FAA Bill into law last Friday, the Senate passed the bill by a vote of 93-6 and it passed the House by a similarly large margin with a vote of 398-23.

Why is this such a big win for business travel?
As the voice of the business travel industry on Capitol Hill, GBTA staff tirelessly advocates for policies that better the business travel industry. Our Government Relations Committee provides insight to help us identify the issues that matter most, our Chapters engage in advocacy through our annual Government Relations Challenge, and most importantly, many of our members attend our Legislative Summit each year to take our collective voice to the Hill and meet with their Senators and Representatives.

In this one bill, virtually all of the priority issues we have included in our Legislative Agenda for the past five years have now become a reality.

  • Long-Term Reauthorization: GBTA has been calling for a long-term FAA Reauthorization to provide stability to the nation’s air traffic control system, ensuring the ongoing safe, secure and efficient facilitation of air travel. This bill marks the first five-year extension since 1982. This follows years of instability created by three authorization extensions from 2015-2017, a federal government shutdown in 2013, a lapse in the FAA authorization in 2011 and 23 short-term extensions from 2007 to 2012.
  • An End to the Diversion of Security Fees: Over the past year, GBTA has been one of the lone organizations supporting the FASTER Act, which would end the practice of diverting a portion of the 9-11 security fee charged on each air ticket toward the national deficit. GBTA argued that this money should go towards security and improving TSA’s efforts as it was intended. This bill ends the current practice of diverting 60 cents on every fee charged by 2027.
  • PreCheck is PreCheck: PreCheck is a win for all passengers, leading to increased traveler satisfaction and overall safety. This new bill mandates that only those prescreened passengers enrolled in trusted traveler programs can use the PreCheck lanes. It also enacts measures to increase marketing and enrollment capabilities through authorized third parties, which will ultimately continue to strengthen the benefits of PreCheck.
  • No Voice Calls on Planes: GBTA has long-advocated for #NoCallsOnPlanes as the vast majority of business travelers oppose voice calls on planes. This bill calls for a regulation prohibiting calls on planes. As we always say, sometimes silence really is golden.
  • Passenger Facility Charges (PFCs): The bill did not include an increase in the PFC, which is a tax on air travelers and essentially a tax on the cost of doing business. The bill also calls for the formation of an expert panel to investigate the need for infrastructure, resources and the impact of increasing the fee – specifically calling out for representation from the business travel industry to act as a stakeholder on the panel. This is the direct result of our efforts to demonstrate the diverse needs of the leisure and business travel industries and showcase the important economic impact of our industry.
  • Rental Car Taxation: This bill prohibits discriminatory taxes on rental cars at airport locations, meaning that state and local governments can no longer put a tax on a rental car that they wouldn’t put on any other purchase. For example, specific car rental taxes used to pay for new stadiums targeted at travelers renting cars who are not from their voting district would be prohibited.
  • Business Traveler Protections: Finally, the bill included some consumer protections that will look out for our business travelers including mandates to set new minimum requirements for seats on airplanes; a call to refund passengers for services they paid for but did not receive; and for regulators to determine if it is unfair or deceptive for airlines to tell passengers that a flight is delayed or canceled due to weather alone when other factors are involved.

Thank you to all of our members who have been a part of our advocacy efforts over the years. It was your collective voice that allowed our industry to achieve this tremendous milestone. The fight is never over though when it comes to advocacy as we must remain vigilant on these issues and stay on top of our next priorities. I encourage you all to attend our Legislative Summit next spring to make our voice even stronger. You can also stay up-to-date on GBTA’s advocacy efforts in Washington, D.C., Brussels and around the world by subscribing to GBTA’s bi-weekly Politics of Travel email from GBTA’s Vice President of Government Relations, Shane Downey.

I would also like to thank our long-time friends and colleagues at Cornerstone Government Affairs. Our partnership over the past eight years has been exceptional and your contributions to our success immeasurable.

In closing, it is worth again calling out the outstanding bi-partisan work in Congress and the White House to look past ideological differences and put the future of the business travel industry – and business travelers that drive our economy – first. We hope that this is a model for future success for the global business travel industry and our leaders in Washington.

Best Regards,

Michael W. McCormick
GBTA Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer



Why is this such a big win for business travel?
As the voice of the business travel industry on Capitol Hill, GBTA staff tirelessly advocates for policies that better the business travel industry. Our Government Relations Committee provides insight to help us identify the issues that matter most, our Chapters engage in advocacy through our annual Government Relations Challenge, and most importantly, many of our members attend our Legislative Summit each year to take our collective voice to the Hill and meet with their Senators and Representatives.

In this one bill, virtually all of the priority issues we have included in our Legislative Agenda for the past five years have now become a reality.

  • Long-Term Reauthorization: GBTA has been calling for a long-term FAA Reauthorization to provide stability to the nation’s air traffic control system, ensuring the ongoing safe, secure and efficient facilitation of air travel. This bill marks the first five-year extension since 1982. This follows years of instability created by three authorization extensions from 2015-2017, a federal government shutdown in 2013, a lapse in the FAA authorization in 2011 and 23 short-term extensions from 2007 to 2012.
  • An End to the Diversion of Security Fees: Over the past year, GBTA has been one of the lone organizations supporting the FASTER Act, which would end the practice of diverting a portion of the 9-11 security fee charged on each air ticket toward the national deficit. GBTA argued that this money should go towards security and improving TSA’s efforts as it was intended. This bill ends the current practice of diverting 60 cents on every fee charged by 2027.
  • PreCheck is PreCheck: PreCheck is a win for all passengers, leading to increased traveler satisfaction and overall safety. This new bill mandates that only those prescreened passengers enrolled in trusted traveler programs can use the PreCheck lanes. It also enacts measures to increase marketing and enrollment capabilities through authorized third parties, which will ultimately continue to strengthen the benefits of PreCheck.
  • No Voice Calls on Planes: GBTA has long-advocated for #NoCallsOnPlanes as the vast majority of business travelers oppose voice calls on planes. This bill calls for a regulation prohibiting calls on planes. As we always say, sometimes silence really is golden.
  • Passenger Facility Charges (PFCs): The bill did not include an increase in the PFC, which is a tax on air travelers and essentially a tax on the cost of doing business. The bill also calls for the formation of an expert panel to investigate the need for infrastructure, resources and the impact of increasing the fee – specifically calling out for representation from the business travel industry to act as a stakeholder on the panel. This is the direct result of our efforts to demonstrate the diverse needs of the leisure and business travel industries and showcase the important economic impact of our industry.
  • Rental Car Taxation: This bill prohibits discriminatory taxes on rental cars at airport locations, meaning that state and local governments can no longer put a tax on a rental car that they wouldn’t put on any other purchase. For example, specific car rental taxes used to pay for new stadiums targeted at travelers renting cars who are not from their voting district would be prohibited.
  • Business Traveler Protections: Finally, the bill included some consumer protections that will look out for our business travelers including mandates to set new minimum requirements for seats on airplanes; a call to refund passengers for services they paid for but did not receive; and for regulators to determine if it is unfair or deceptive for airlines to tell passengers that a flight is delayed or canceled due to weather alone when other factors are involved.

Thank you to all of our members who have been a part of our advocacy efforts over the years. It was your collective voice that allowed our industry to achieve this tremendous milestone. The fight is never over though when it comes to advocacy as we must remain vigilant on these issues and stay on top of our next priorities. I encourage you all to attend our Legislative Summit next spring to make our voice even stronger. You can also stay up-to-date on GBTA’s advocacy efforts in Washington, D.C., Brussels and around the world by subscribing to GBTA’s bi-weekly Politics of Travel email from GBTA’s Vice President of Government Relations, Shane Downey.

I would also like to thank our long-time friends and colleagues at Cornerstone Government Affairs. Our partnership over the past eight years has been exceptional and your contributions to our success immeasurable.

In closing, it is worth again calling out the outstanding bi-partisan work in Congress and the White House to look past ideological differences and put the future of the business travel industry – and business travelers that drive our economy – first. We hope that this is a model for future success for the global business travel industry and our leaders in Washington.

Best Regards,

Michael W. McCormick
GBTA Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer

OVBTA's Doug Payne Elected to GBTA Board

OVBTA is both proud and excited to announce that Doug Payne, CCTE, GTP, GLP and Senior Vice-President of Atour, the OVBTA Legislative Liaison, a long-time member, leader and supporter of our chapter, has been elected to the GBTA Board of Directors. This election is a testimony to Doug's professionalism, commitment to and passion for our industry. We asked Doug to share some thoughts on his election and this is what he had to say:

"Dear Fellow OVBTA Member:

I am very honored and thrilled to have been elected as the Allied Member at Large on the GBTA Board.   I take this role seriously and look forward to serving the members of GBTA over the next two years.  My sincere thanks to those who supported me.

GBTA as an association has accomplished a great deal in recent years.    The Chapter project is nearing completion, the association has continued to grow internationally and at Convention this year it was announced that GBTA has acquired the WINiT (Women in Travel) organization and has created a partnership with ITM (Institute of Travel Management) in the UK.   The ITM partnership will allow GBTA to have a significant presence in one of the key global travel markets and the WINiT acquisition will ensure that WINiT has a long-term future in its very important mission of providing professional development, visibility and mobility opportunities to its vast and diversified membership.

Although our Association has indeed accomplished a great deal, the leaders of our Association must not become complacent nor should they take any part of the Association for granted.    I believe that the Chapters are a cornerstone of the Association providing educational and professional/personal growth opportunities for many who may or may not have the ability to be a part of the Global Association.  The Chapters play a key role in GBTA’s advocacy efforts both in terms of raising funds for the PAC campaign as well as sending many to Capitol Hill each year to advocate on behalf of our industry.   For many, a local Chapter is the gateway to the Global Association and all that it has to offer. 

On the Board, I will continue to be a passionate supporter of the Chapters and will continue to offer complete and full support of our Legislative efforts in Washington, DC, our continued support of mentoring organizations such as Ladders and WINiT and will support responsible growth in regions outside of the US.  As one who has taken advantage of the many educational programs GBTA has to offer, I will fully support the efforts of GBTA to review, update and refresh the educational programs offered to our members.  

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any ideas/suggestions, or you simply have questions regarding GBTA.   I am happy to assist!

In closing, I would like to commend Jeff Maurer for also running for the Board.   It takes a great deal of passion and desire to truly serve others to even consider running for such a position and OVBTA should be very proud of the fact that our Chapter contributed a great deal to this election.    Jeff is a true asset to our local Chapter and I am confident that he will continue to find ways to lead and serve in the future.

Sincerely,

Doug"


OVBTA Wins First Place in the 12th Annual Government Relations Challenge!

Thanks to OVBTA’s awesome members, for supporting the Business Travel PAC throughout the year and in the final week of the challenge. It was a close race between 9 chapters/affiliates in our division, but thanks to your generosity, we were able to clinch a victory!

CONGRATULATIONS FOR RAISING THE MOST PAC FUNDS!

2018 DIVISION NNERS

Small Division

Utah Chapter

$1,735.00

Medium Division

Ohio Valley Chapter

$3,907.00

Large Division

Dallas Chapter

$12,023.00

Together with all GBTA Chapters and Affiliates, we raised a record amount of PAC funds: $59,490.50!

Why this matters…

As a part of the government relations strategy, GBTA targets those members of Congress who have been supportive of the business travel industry and makes contributions through the Business Travel PAC to their election campaigns.  Business Travel PAC is a non-partisan political action committee. PAC funds are used to support members of Congress who understand the value of business travel and support pro-business travel interests.

Thank you for getting involved and making a difference in the business travel industry!

Doug Payne, CCTE                                         Mary Pelino, CTA

GBTA Legislative Liaison                               OVBTA Chairman

As an official chapter of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), Ohio Valley BTA supports the efforts of GBTA in providing a unified voice for the business travel industry.  Through our Legislative Liaison and engaged members, Ohio Valley BTA participates in various activities to further the interests of our industry.  The importance of these efforts are best summarized by GBTA:

About GBTA Government Relations

GBTA advocates for policies that better the business travel industry, representing travel buyers and the travelers they manage. Business travelers are a consistently underrepresented constituency, despite the fact that the business travel industry represents $1.3 trillion in business travel and meetings expenditures annually. Business travel is also a major driver for jobs and the economy, responsible for 7.4 million jobs in the United States, 1.2 million jobs in Mexico and nearly a half million jobs in Canada. With more than 9,000 global members, regional partners, 39 local chapters and affiliates, and a network of 30,000 business travel and meetings professionals, GBTA is the voice of the global business travel industry. GBTA actively speaks out on policy issues across the globe and frequently meets with representatives in Washington, D.C. and Brussels in an effort to advance the business travel industry.

What We Do

Government Relations advocates policies that benefit the business travel industry. Along with GBTA members across the country, we educate members of Congress and governments abroad, their staff, and executive branch officials about:

  • How business travel stimulates economic and jobs growth
  • Pro-Business Travel Government policies
  • Benefits of efficient travel buying and selling
  • Government policies and taxes that discourage or impede business travel

OVBTA Members Thank Senator Portman and Representative Massie for Their Support


OVBTA Members and Brutus at the 2018 Legislative Summit

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) – the voice of the global business travel industry – hosted its 16th annual Legislative Summit. Over 130 GBTA members representing 23 states attended, calling on lawmakers to pass a five-year FAA Bill ensuring a long-term plan for the future of aviation and to ensure the entire 9-11 Aviation Security Fee is used for airport security and passenger facilitation.OVBTA was well-represented at the Summit. Several of our members took the time to travel to Washington DC to meet with elected representatives to present and discuss issues of importance to our industry, which included:

  • Business Travel as an Economic Driver: Congress should understand business travel is important to the overall economy, given the industry contributes roughly 3 percent of U.S. GDP, equivalent to the automotive industry.
  • Pass the FAA Bill: Congress needs to pass this bipartisan bill now and not pass another extension. The final bill should maintain a 5-year authorization, it should maintain its no cell phones on planes language and should continue to reject efforts to increase the passenger facility charge.
  • Keep the 9-11 Security Fee for Security: As part of the last two budget deals, Congress voted to funnel part of this fee to go towards federal deficit reduction. GBTA members are asking members of Congress to co-sponsor the FASTER Act to support using the entire fee for airport security and passenger facilitation to keep air travel safe.

Get Involved Today!

You can help! There are many ways yoiu can help insure the important messages and activities are reaching your elected representatives. GBTA has full-time staff members who work very hard to communicate business travel priorities and concerns with legislators and their staff members. There are many ways you can help:

  • Join the OVBTA Legislative/Government Relations Committee.
  • Call or email your Representative and Senators and encourage them to support the specific issues the GBTA outlines as important to our industry. 
  • Speak out on behalf of your profession, employer and industry by giving financial support by donating to the GBTA PAC. 
    • Federal PAC Rules state that you must be a member of an organization to donate to their PAC. If you are not a member, click here to join OVBTA

For further questions about our government relations efforts, please contact the OVBTA Legislative Liaison, Doug Payne.